Black Chickpea Leaf - Unlocking Health and Flavor: The Nutritional Wonders of (Kala Chana ke pathe) in Indian Cuisine

black chickpea

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Black Chickpea

Black chickpeas, scientifically known as Kala chana, are the edible seeds of a compact plant that typically reaches a height of 20–50 cm. The plant is characterized by small, feather-like leaves arranged along the stem. Notably, it produces white flowers adorned with pink, violet, and blue lines, and each resulting seedpod typically contains two to three pods.

The leaves and the youngest green pods of black chickpeas are edible in their raw state. Additionally, the enlarged but still green pods can be cooked similarly to regular peas. In certain regions, young chickpea leaves are a part of the culinary repertoire, offering a source of essential nutrients, particularly beneficial in addressing malnutrition.

These dark-hued chickpeas are a nutritional powerhouse, boasting a rich content of vital vitamins and minerals that contribute to optimal hair health. The high protein content found in black chickpeas is particularly noteworthy, as it strengthens hair follicles, reducing the likelihood of hair fall.

Furthermore, black chickpeas contain a diverse array of phytochemicals, encompassing carbohydrates, amino acids, proteins, flavonoids, iron, phosphate, and chloride. These phytochemicals play a crucial role as antioxidants, effectively safeguarding against various forms of cancer.

Referred to as the desi variety of chickpeas, black chickpeas are characterized by their brown to black coloration. They hold a significant presence in Indian cuisine, frequently employed in the preparation of curries, stews, and stir fry dishes. Beyond their culinary versatility, black chickpeas stand out as a valuable dietary component, offering a spectrum of health benefits ranging from nutritional supplementation to cancer prevention.


Black chickpeas, also known as Kala chana, have their origins in Southeast Asia and are believed to be one of the earliest cultivated legumes. They have been a staple in various cuisines, particularly in Indian, Middle Eastern, and Mediterranean cooking, for centuries. The cultivation of chickpeas is thought to have spread from the Indian subcontinent to other parts of the world through trade routes and cultural exchanges.

India is considered one of the primary centers of origin for chickpeas, including the black variety. The desi type, which encompasses black chickpeas, is well adapted to the Indian climate and has been cultivated in the region for thousands of years. Over time, the popularity of chickpeas has led to their cultivation in different parts of the world, contributing to their global presence in diverse culinary traditions.

black chickpea nutrients


Black chickpeas, also known as Kala chana, are a nutrient-rich food that provides a variety of essential vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial compounds. Here are some key nutrients found in black chickpeas:

Protein:   Black chickpeas are an excellent source of plant-based protein, making them a valuable addition to vegetarian and vegan diets. Protein is essential for the repair and growth of tissues in the body.

Dietary Fiber:   High in dietary fiber, black chickpeas contribute to digestive health by promoting regular bowel movements and supporting a healthy gut microbiome.

Complex Carbohydrates:   The complex carbohydrates in black chickpeas provide a steady release of energy, helping to maintain stable blood sugar levels.

Vitamins:  Black chickpeas contain various vitamins, including:
Vitamin A:   Important for vision and immune function.
Vitamin C:   An antioxidant that supports – Vitamin K:   Vital for the process of blood clotting and crucial for maintaining healthy bones. 
B Vitamins (such as B6, B9):   Play a role in energy metabolism, red blood cell formation, and neural functions.

Minerals:   Black chickpeas are rich in minerals like:
Iron:   Essential for oxygen transport in the blood and prevention of anemia. 
Phosphorus:   Essential for supporting bone health and participating in energy metabolism. 
Magnesium:   Aids in the support of muscle and nerve function, in addition to contributing to overall bone health. 
Zinc:   Involved in immune function and wound healing.

Antioxidants:   Black chickpeas contain various antioxidants, including flavonoids, which help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.

Phytochemicals:   These bioactive compounds contribute to the potential health benefits of black chickpeas, including their anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.

Incorporating black chickpeas into a balanced diet can be a nutritious way to meet your protein and micronutrient needs, promoting overall health and well-being.

black chickpea health benefits

Health Benefits

While black chickpeas (Kala chana) are more commonly recognized for their nutritious seeds, the leaves of the chickpea plant also offer health benefits. Here are some potential health benefits associated with black chickpea leaves:

Rich in Nutrients:   Chickpea leaves are a good source of essential nutrients such as vitamins (A, C, K, and certain B vitamins), minerals (iron, calcium, magnesium), and antioxidants, contributing to overall health and well-being.

Dietary Fiber:   Like the seeds, chickpea leaves contain dietary fiber, which supports digestive health by promoting regular bowel movements and maintaining a healthy gut.

Antioxidant Properties:   The leaves of black chickpeas contain antioxidants that help combat oxidative stress in the body, potentially reducing the risk of chronic diseases.

Anti-Inflammatory Effects:   Certain compounds in chickpea leaves may possess anti-inflammatory properties, which could be beneficial in reducing inflammation and associated health issues.

Potential Immune Support:   The presence of vitamins and antioxidants in chickpea leaves may contribute to immune system support, helping the body defend against infections and illnesses.

Blood Sugar Regulation: Some studies suggest that the consumption of chickpea leaves may play a role in regulating blood sugar levels, which can be particularly relevant for individuals with diabetes or those at risk of developing diabetes.

Heart Health:   The nutrients found in chickpea leaves, such as potassium and folate, may contribute to cardiovascular health by supporting normal blood pressure and reducing the risk of heart-related issues.

It’s important to note that while there is evidence suggesting these potential health benefits, more research is needed to fully understand the specific effects of consuming chickpea leaves. As with any dietary consideration, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or a nutritionist for personalized advice based on individual health conditions and needs.

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